National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health and all
50 state offices of rural health said in a news release that health concerns of the 60 million rural Americans include: a lack of health care
providers; accessibility issues, particularly transportation and technology; and affordability, as the result of higher out-of-pocket costs and other factors.
“Meanwhile, rural hospitals and health systems face declining reimbursement rates and disproportionate funding levels that make it challenging to meet the physical, social and economic needs of their communities,” organizers say.
The observance also focuses attention on state rural-health offices, which foster relationships, disseminate information and provide technical assistance that improves access to quality health care for rural citizens, according to the news release.
National Rural Health Day events include several free webinars. Topics, times, and speakers are:
- AgriSafe: Protecting the People Who Feed America (Noon EST) – Natalie Roy, executive director and Carolyn Sheridan, clinical director, AgriSafe Network
- Rural 101: The Basics of Rural Health (1 p.m. EST) – Kristine Sande, program director, Rural Assistance Center
- Population Based Health and Health Promotion in Rural (2 p.m. EST) – Lynda Bergsma, program director, Arizona Center of Rural Health; Caroline Ford, former director, Nevada State Office of Rural Health
- The Affordable Care Act in Rural America (3 p.m. EST) – Tom Morris, associate administrator; Deepti Loharikar, public health analyst, and Aaron Fischbach, public health analyst, federal Office of Rural Health Policy
- Resources for Recruitment, Networking, and Telehealth (4 p.m. EST) – Mike Shimmens, executive director, National Rural Recruitment and Retention Network; Rebecca Davis, executive director, National Cooperative of Health Networks Association; Kathy Hsu Wibberly, director, Mid-Atlantic Telehealth Resource Center
The rural health offices’ national organization will have a National Rural Health Day press conference and celebration at the National Press Club in Washington at 10 a.m. EST Nov. 21. To learn more about the observance, visit http://celebratepowerofrural.org.